If you are an Executor and are faced with an unhappy family member who has been cut out of a will what do you do ?
The will and disclosing a copy
The starting point in all cases is of course the will. In our experience a lot of animosity is caused by relatives refusing to provide a copy of the Deceased’s persons will, fearing the potential consequences if someone close to the deceased has been left out. As a firm experienced in handling will disputes our advice is always to provide a copy of the will. If you refuse to disclose a copy then this inevitably leads to the issue of what is called a Caveat which in turn prevents probate and delays the estate administration.
Once a copy of a will has been disclosed and you are faced with a potential claim do not try to explain the will – take legal advice. If someone is determined to make a claim they must do so through the correct legal process through a solicitor, the starting point will involve a letter known as a larke -v- nugus letter which asks details relating to the background of the will, how it was prepared and who was present. Thereafter if there are genuine issues a formal letter of claim should be made outlining the legal basis of the claim.
Is there a genuine claim ?
The reality is that in many cases we see Caveats entered unreasonably simply because it is very easy to enter a Caveat. If this is the case it is always best to get a lawyer to serve a warning straightaway if there are genuinely no grounds upon which the caveat was entered otherwise the estate administration gets delayed.
If there are genuine grounds to contest a will then we can advise you upon the process to resolve matters amicably.
Tim Murden acts for families across the UK defending claims against estates. For an initial discussion, Tim can be contacted on 01482 429985 or via email at email@example.com